Basketball NSW has announced the under 18’s State Teams to play in the Australian Junior Championships (AJC) later this year.
The AJC’s are a series of events that form the pinnacle for emerging athletes within Australia seeing the National Champion crowned at the conclusion of each event.
One South Coast player, has been selected to represent the state in the under 18 Country Men’s team.
James Bartlett, better known as Jimi, from the Batemans Bay Breakers, said he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I was really shocked to be honest to see my name on the team list,” Bartlett said.
After driving home from the final trials in Maitland last weekend, Jimi said he told his mum, Ria Bartlett, that he felt he performed well but not well enough to make it onto the team.
“I’m really proud, because I put in so much time and effort to get to the place I’m at now and, it’s good to see all the hard work paying off.”
At just 15 years of age, Jimi is among only a handful of younger players that will compete against older players in the under 18’s championships.
Jimi’s Dad, Adam says he’s “very proud” but Jimi certainly didn’t get his talent from him.
“He’s only been playing the game for about four years and how much he’s improved in that time is just amazing,” Mr Bartlett said.
“I didn’t play basketball at all, my grandfather played basketball so he may have picked it up from him.”
Jimi said with a slightly sarcastic tone, perhaps it was his mother, Ria, who he got his talent from .
“She says she was a baller back in the day but I dont’ believe her,”
When asked why, his simple answer… “I’ve seen her shoot before.”
Jimi was selected for the under 16’s State Team in 2021, alongside fellow Batemans Bay Breaker, Oliver Dyason. An experience he said should hold him in good stead for the upcoming tournament.
“The whole trialing and the camps created a good bond with everyone in the team,” Bartlett said.
“It was a really good experience and I think this (under 18 competition) will be too.”
The Championships will take place in Ballarat, Victoria from the 10th of April to the 17th of April.
Jimi’s aim: “I just want a medal, gold would be nice but any medal really.”
The South Coast and the East Coast Radio team has wished Jimmi all the best.
Image Credit: Ria Bartlett, Basketball NSW